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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Make do and Mend

I have long admired the make do and mend approach of my parents. Back in the olden days being thrifty was not exactly a choice, it was a necessity. However being thrifty and making every penny work twice resulted in some inspiring and imaginative approaches to decorating, cooking and gardening. Our family home was a Heath Robinson affair with quirky interiors, cobbled together decor and a wealth of things masquerading as something different in their new recycled life. For instance, a pretty flowery skirt I wore as a six year old became a frilly lamp shade cover by the time I was eight. Nothing went to waste back then.

I guess we've come full circle and now we are recycling those old attitudes and ethos of our grandparents and parents in the 50's, 60's and 70's, although now we have different reasons; making do and mending, recycling and salvaging, reclaiming and reusing have become the new mantra for the 21st century too. Mostly it is environment led rather than poverty driven but what ever the impetus I am happy to embrace the return to sensible re-using of stuff that previously went straight to a landfill. There is no greater excitement I think than getting out your sewing box and turning an old tablecloth into cushion covers, or sitting at the kitchen table with the children and hand making birthday cards out of a collection of pretty buttons, fabric, paper and lace.

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